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Algae Power!

April 12, 2013

This morning, we woke up extra early to visit the AzCATI lab. It was super cool! Basically, the idea is that they feed the algae with wastewater and waste CO2 from industrial processes (ex. from Intel). The algae grows and they can manipulate how much fat it produces by withholding certain types of nutrients. Then they dry it out and produce biofuel from it. That creates a waste product that can be used as food, fertilizer, or processed into other fuels. They are experimenting with different ways to grow it, process it etc. to find the most cost-effective strategy to scale up.

Biofuels (Paul Thompson)

  • In general, cellulosic biofuels don’t make economic sense because of the land use problems
  • However, non-cellulosic biofuels (like algae) can have other problems (ex. genetically modified algae)
  • We have a history of valuing farms/farming
  • Standards are important for framing issues and encouraging progress – they lock in values (embedded ethics)
  • I should read Standards: Recipes for Reality

Sustainability and Ethics Education (Anu Ramaswami)

Then we went to In&Out Burger 🙂

 

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